Monday, September 15, 2008

Resource updates

Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears is an online professional development magazine funded by the National Science Foundation for elementary teachers which focuses on preparing teachers to teach polar science concepts in an already congested curriculum by integrating inquiry-based science with literacy teaching. Such an integrated approach can increase students' science knowledge, academic language, reading comprehension, and written and oral discourse abilities. The topic for issue 6 is Rocks and Minerals. Each issue include a strategy specific to the topic, a monthly virtual bookshelf highlighting children’s literature that relates to the theme of the issue, a nonfiction article for students, and monthly science and literacy lessons to promote a real and meaningful integration of the two subjects. Check it out!

Now, if you want to hit the jackpot on science and literacy, you must check out the "Teaching Physical Science with Children's Literature" series at Open Wide, Look Inside, a wonderful blog by Tricia Stohr-Hunt at Richmond University (her blog, The Miss Rumphius Effect is also wonderful!). Each post highlights a children's book along with curriculum connections and additional resources. Recent books include: Scien-Trickery by J. Patrick Lewis, Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Suess, Spectacular Science by Lee Bennett Hopkins, Just Look by Tana Hoban, and many more.

One of my favorite professional development books is Beyond Leveled Books by Karen Szymusiak and Franki Sibberson. Now, a second edition will soon be available:

In the first edition of Beyond Leveled Books, Franki Sibberson and Karen Szymusiak, offered a much-needed perspective on moving transitional readers from the basic supports of leveling to independent book selection. Seven years later, drawing on their continued research and expanding roles as authors and literacy consultants, Franki and Karen, along with colleague Lisa Koch, present a new updated and expanded edition of this "useful and eye-opening book." [Education Reviews, 2001]

The publisher, Stenhouse, has made the revised edition of Beyond Leveled Books available online free of charge!!! Click on the link above and scroll down. Enjoy!

The Big Fresh, the weekly newsletter from Choice Literacy, highlights resources for assisting students with book selection. Literacy coach Carol Wilcox offers a dozen practical literacy activities linking books, drawing, writing, and the arts and a link to the Reading Rockets website for video and audio chats with favorite authors, as well as advice from education experts and videos of best practices from classrooms.

I really enjoyed the September/October issue of The Horn Book Magazine. But, the September issue of Notes from the Horn Book is a really nice bonus! This issue includes "five questions for two teachers" which highlights Robin Smith and Dean Schneider, who have taught at the Ensworth School in Nashville for a combined thirty-six years. Reviews of new back to school books, much anticipated newly released books, books about the fall session and books about the road to the White House are also included.

Last, but certainly not least are two interviews. I am currently reading the just released Brooklyn Bridge by the fabulous Karen Hesse and loving it. A Fuse #8 Production was lucky enough to be provided with a link to a new interview about Brooklyn Bridge and the story behind the story. Don't miss it!

The second is an interview with the renowned Maurice Sendak (who recently turned 80) in the New York Times titled, Concerns Beyond Where the Wild Things Are. In the article, Sendak "is plagued by the question that has repeatedly been asked about Norman Rockwell: was he a great artist or a mere illustrator? Those of us who are avid fans or even connoisseurs of children's book illustrations would not even hesitate to reply, great artist!

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